Why do Russian cosmonauts pee on a tire before space launches?
Jul 4, 2015

We all have our own odd traditions, and astronauts and cosmonauts are no different. In fact, you could even argue that since their jobs are a bit, well, high-stress, their traditions are proportionally weird. For example: in Russia, before the cosmonauts board their craft for blast-off, they make sure to pee on a tire. But why?

Europe's Space Agency says NASA's going back to the moon after all
Jul 4, 2015

Two years ago, the President of the United States made it clear that a return to the Moon was not a priority for American space flight, but it seems he may have forgotten to tell NASA. American astronauts are apparently planning to head back to the Moon less than 10 years from now. At least, that's what the European Space Agency says.

Gorgeous '70s concept art shows NASA's dream of our space future
Jul 4, 2015

In the days when the Apollo program was still going strong and our future in outer space seemed bright, NASA was dreaming about a life beyond our Earthly bonds. By the '70s, they were already researching what humanity would need to permanently live in space on a large scale, and they hired concept artists to visualize their work. The result is a gorgeous view of the future.

VIDEO: Watch SpaceX's breakthrough rocket take off and land
Jul 4, 2015

Remember SpaceX? They're the company that launched unmanned cargo ships to the International Space Station and promised they could sell us tickets to Mars in a decade or so. It's a lofty goal, but a big part of their strategy is cutting cost by building reusable rockets, and it seems they're making progress.

Why the biggest problem for astronauts headed to Mars may be sleep
Jul 4, 2015

Going to Mars seems cool, but having to spend a year and a half in a tiny space with several other people to get there is enough to give anyone second thoughts. Still, six volunteers gave it a try in a Mars simulation, and found out the biggest problem faces Mars voyagers could be sleep deprivation.

WTF lobbyist idea: Fund spaceflight with NASCAR-style rocket ads
Jul 4, 2015

Another year, another round of discussions on how to solve NASA's perpetual budget woes. There are a lot of ideas floating around, but here's one we've never heard before: a lobbyist thinks we can pay for future NASA missions with advertising on the sides of spacecrafts, NASCAR-style.

Astronauts left something way grosser than a US flag on the Moon
Jul 4, 2015

There's a lot of manmade stuff sitting on the surface of the Moon, but some of it is more (ahem) organic than the rest.

Image of the Day: The most ambitious side-by-side comparison of fictional spaceships ever
Sep 19, 2014

Have you ever wondered how the Death Star might stack up size-wise against Serenity, or any other fictional ships from a boatload of other sci-fi franchises? Well, wonder no more.

Check out NASA's new UFO-styled Orion space ship crew module
Jun 12, 2014

The folks over at SpaceX might be going for a science fiction-styled look with its new Dragon V2 craft, but NASA is aiming for a legit UFO design with its new Orion craft.

Check out a NASA scientist's stunning design for a faster-than-light starship
Jun 10, 2014

Welcome to the future, when spaceships can go faster than the speed of light and look absolutely gorgeous while ferrying us to the stars.

We finally know what really killed the 1st man in space
Jun 17, 2013

Seems the plane crash that killed legendary cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was more complex than we were told.

Scientists already trying to stop Mars astronauts from killing each other
May 30, 2013

We might be more than a decade from a Mars mission, but NASA's already weighing psychological risks.

Why David Brin wants to go to Mars (even if it's a one-way trip)
May 20, 2013

If the idea of a one-way trip to the Red Planet sounds like fun to you, you're not alone.

1st private vehicle EVER to fly to the International Space Station
Dec 16, 2012

Great news, space enthusiasts: Dragon will be flying on February 7, 2012. What's Dragon? It's a capsule that will be flown to the International Space Station (ISS). And if all goes well, Dragon and its Falcon 9 launch vehicle will serve as the new replacement for the 30-year-old space shuttle, which was retired in July.